So how did God make Adam? Genesis 2:7 says that “the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
There are two parts to the creation of God’s masterpiece. The first we’ll call formation. This is the physical putting together of parts, the logistics. An artist might call this technique. Technique is important. Technique separates an artist from a first grader who can’t control his Legos. You might be having all the fun in the world, but if your art makes no sense and is not helpful to anyone but you, no one will care.
The second part to this process is breath, as in the transfer of life. In God’s case this was a literal transaction. In our case, this is the infusion of inspiration, passion, and energy into our creative work. Breath is what separates the architect and the part time construction worker. The construction worker is heavily involved in the formation of the building, but she is not an artist and she has no desire to be. She simply wants to follow the instructions, build the thing, get paid, and go home. The architect, through his design and emotional investment in the project, brings life to the piece.
Without technique, there is no form. Without breath, there is no life. Without both parts working together, there is no art. Art that’s missing either on of these parts ceases to be art at all. It’s either a lifeless building, or a mess of Legos. On the other hand, you can live in the tension between technique and breath long enough to finish your project, you might just create a masterpiece.